Economic Development

Las Vegas Sands Wins Bid for Mini-Casino in Mercer County

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – Las Vegas Sands Corp. today bid $9.9 million to win a state license to build and operate a mini-casino in Mercer County, Pa., near Greenville.

The company was one of two bidders seeking a license during an auction conducted in Harrisburg by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. According to terms set forth in its bid, it will build the mini-casino within a 15-mile radius from a site in Hempfield Township – essentially Greenville, Pa.

Just two weeks ago, Mount Airy #1 LLC offered $21.19 million to win the high bid for the license to build a mini-casino in Lawrence County, Pa., near New Castle.

Sites in York and Westmoreland Counties were chosen during the first two auctions for mini-casino licenses, which were held last month. No more licenses will be awarded.

Neither Las Vegas Sands nor Mount Airy has specified a site or a construction timetable but must do so within six months. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will then review the plans and financing before awarding a final license.

The operation of four mini-casinos are authorized by the commonwealth under the Category 4 Slot Machine License approved last year. This enables the license holder to operate between 300 and 750 slot machines. And they can petition for permission to initially operate up to 30 table games with the capability of adding 10 more table games after one year of operation.

The majority owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. is billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson, best known for contributing millions of dollars to the Republican Party and its candidates.

In Pennsylvania, Las Vegas Sands also operates the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. The full-size casino operated in May 2009 and features more than 3,000 slot machines and 200 table games.

Other properties operated by Las Vegas Sands are The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo in Las Vegas and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Through majority ownership in Sands China Ltd., Las Vegas Sands owns a portfolio of properties on the Cotai Strip in Macao, including The Venetian Macao, The Plaza and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Sands Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao, as well as the Sands Macao on the Macao Peninsula.

The company employs 50,000 worldwide.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.